Seminar This seminar will examine the use of violence in modes of narrative fiction, ranging from historical and domestic realism to satire, fabulism, and the absurd. As the most extreme manifestation of dramatic conflict, violence represents a persistent, inevitable, and, perhaps, irresistible aspect of story. While contemporary popular culture has elevated violence to a subject in itself, writers must reckon with it as representation and metaphor. How does the presence of violence, whether on- or offstage, weight narrative? How does it affect tonality and mood when used to begin, punctuate, climax, or end story? With rigorous reading of selected texts and writing exercises this seminar will emphasize craft. Texts include Paul Bowles, Flannery O’Connor, Ben Okri, Toni Morrison, Dennis Cooper, Cormac McCarthy, Isaac Babel, Julio Cortazar, Joan Didion, John Hawkes, James Ellroy, Ngugi Wa Thiongo, Jean Rhys, William T. Vollman and Henry James, among others.